Report: Somerset v Warwickshire, County Championship
Warwickshire’s seamers gave Somerset a final day scare before the LV= Insurance County Championship match at Taunton ended in a draw.
Having extended their first innings score from an overnight 305 for seven to 392 all out in reply to 284, Sam Hain leading the way with a patient 118, the visitors reduced their hosts to 127 for six, a lead of just 19.
Oliver Hannon-Dalby claimed three for 21 and Chris Rushworth two for 33, but they could not prevent Tom Lammonby (66 not out) and Craig Overton (29 not out) batting Somerset to safety at 180 for six.
Somerset took nine points and Warwickshire 11 from a contest ruined by the first day washout at the Cooper Associates County Ground.
A draw appeared the most likely outcome when play began and interest initially centred on the battle for bonus points, with Warwickshire needing 93 off 21.4 overs to reach 400 and Somerset four wickets in the same period to claim maximum bowling points.
Hain and Burgess built steadily on the overnight lead of 23 until with the total on 321, Burgess, who had added ten to his score of 36 at the start of play, advanced down the pitch to Peter Siddle and was bowled.
Jacob Bethell arrived at the crease looking to increase the tempo. He lofted Jack Leach back over his head for six and took a single off the next ball to take the score to 350.
Warwickshire had just under seven overs to add another 50 for maximum batting points, but their hopes suffered a blow when Bethell was bowled by Josh Davey for 19, swinging to leg.
Hain reached a rock-solid hundred when a quick single to mid-on turned out to add five to his score as Craig Overton’s throw at the stumps brought four overthrows.
It was reward for more than four hours of concentration by Hain, who had faced 254 balls and hit 10 fours.
Hasan Ali launched a six over long-on off Davey and Hain also went on the attack before, with the total on 389 for seven, he was caught behind aiming a back-foot forcing shot off Leach.
Somerset skipper Lewis Gregory brought himself on for the 110th over, with his side needing one wicket and Warwickshire nine runs to register another bonus point.
It proved a shrewd move as Hasan, on 15, pulled a catch to Tom Kohler-Cadmore at mid-on and Chris Rushworth lifted a catch to Overton at long-on.
Warwickshire had the consolation of a 108-run lead, with Somerset’s openers facing a tricky three overs before lunch.
They failed to negotiate it, Sean Dickson edging Oliver Hannon-Dalby to first slip where Rob Yates took his fifth catch of the match.
Somerset were one for one at the interval and dressing room nerves in increased in the first over of the afternoon when Cameron Bancroft registered the second duck of the innings, pinned lbw by Hannon-Dalby.
Kohler-Cadmore, fared little better than fellow debutants Dickson and Bancroft, scoring 16 before edging Rushworth to Hain at second slip to make it 25 for three.
When George Bartlett had his middle stump uprooted by Hasan Ali, having made 20 and with the total on 62, Somerset were in serious trouble. There were still 58 overs to be bowled and they trailed by 46 runs.
With the deficit reduced to 16, James Rew was bowled for 14 looking to pull a short ball from Rushworth, starting a new spell having switched to the Marcus Trescothick Pavilion end.
It was 112 for five at tea, Somerset leading by just four. Lammonby had played well for his 46, but there were still a possible 42 overs to negotiate.
The final session saw Gregory bowled by Hannon-Dalby for 26 with his side only 19 ahead. Lammonby went to a priceless fifty off 83 balls, with 6 fours, and at 132 for six the floodlights were switched on.
Mindful that bad light had ended play nine overs early on day three, Warwickshire employed spin at both ends. But Bethell and Yates could not force another breakthrough.
Overton was dropped on 13 by Hannon-Dalby at mid-on off Bethell before the players shook hands at 5.15pm. Lammonby had faced 120 balls and hit 7 fours and a six.
Warwickshire coach Mark Robinson said: “We planned to win when we talked last night. From the moment it became a three-day game all our decisions were based on how we could gain a victory. I’m pretty happy. We feel we bossed the match, winning or at least drawing each session, and if our lbw appeal against Tom Lammonby this afternoon had been given it would really have put the cat among the pigeons.
“Credit to him because he played well, but I am pleased with the way we have started. Our batters played around Sam Hain, who is a good foil for our more aggressive players, and to get two centurions in the first match is great. Alex Davies’ ton will set him up nicely after a difficult season last year and Sam is our Mr Consistent. We think we have a better balance to our bowling attack this summer and hope we can keep them all fit.
“We haven’t won, but we will take a lot out of the game and go into the next one at home to Kent with some momentum.”
Alex Davies hit his seventh first class century as Warwickshire built a narrow first innings lead over Somerset on the third day of the rain-affected LV= Insurance County Championship game at Taunton.
After dismissing their hosts for 284 from an overnight 269 for eight, the visitors had replied with 307 for five when bad light ended play nine overs early, opener Davies leading the way with 118, off 153 balls, with 21 fours and a six.
Sam Hain contributed an undefeated 83, Will Rhodes 39 and Michael Burgess 36 not out, while Jack Leach was the most successful Somerset bowler with three for 93.
The day began with Somerset’s Lewis Gregory and Leach looking to guide their side towards a second batting point.
Those hopes faded when Gregory pushed forward to Chris Rushworth in the second over of the morning and departed without adding to his overnight score of 65 as Rob Yates pouched his fourth catch of the match at first slip.
Oliver Hannon-Dalby wrapped up the innings by pinning Peter Siddle lbw for ten and Leach was left unbeaten on 27.
Warwickshire’s reply got off to a poor start when Yates edged the third ball, bowled by Josh Davey, to Tom Lammonby at fourth slip and fell for two.
But Somerset’s seamers were soon struggling to find as much assistance from the pitch as their Warwickshire counterparts, Davies and Will Rhodes batting with increasing confidence.
Rhodes was the more aggressive and had moved to 39 off 52 balls, with 6 fours, when aiming an aggressive shot off Leach and picking out Craig Overton at wide mid-on.
Undeterred, Davies slog-swept Leach for six on his way to a 63-ball half-century, also featuring 6 fours. He was unbeaten on 51 at lunch with the scoreboard reading 108 for two from 23 overs.
The afternoon session saw Davies and Hain progressing serenely against an impotent looking Somerset attack on a pitch that appeared to offer little seam movement.
Skipper Lewis Gregory had turned to Leach as early as the 15th over, but the England left-arm spinner found it hard to stem the run-rate as Davies and Hain batted positively.
Davies moved to a chanceless ton with a single off Leach, having looked untroubled in facing 140 balls and extending his boundary count to 17 fours and a six.
He and the equally comfortable Hain had taken their third-wicket stand to 133 in 34.1 overs when it was broken by Leach.
Davies looked to increase the tempo with a reverse sweep and only succeeded in dragging the ball onto his stumps.
It was 203 for three and the error was compounded with only a couple of runs added as Dan Mousley fell lbw to Leach for two.
Hain had been content to play second fiddle to Davies, but when Craig Overton was introduced for a new spell from the Marcus Trescothick Pavilion End, he produced a classic cover drive to register his fifth boundary.
Ed Barnard helped Hain add 31, contributing 19 on his Warwickshire debut before being bowled by Siddle playing inside the line.
All the while Hain was staying rock-like, reaching his fifty with his sixth boundary, a sweetly-timed back-foot shot through the covers off Gregory, He had faced 140 balls, the same number as Davies required to reach three figures.
Burgess secured a first batting point for Warwickshire with a flashing cut for four off Gregory, taking the total to 253 for five.
Burgess then edged Leach between wicketkeeper James Rew and first slip at catchable height, taking advantage of the narrow escape by lofting the next delivery for four as Warwickshire closed in on Somerset’s first innings total.
They were three runs ahead by the time the second new ball was taken. It had little effect and the game looked to be meandering towards a draw following the first day washout when, with the floodlights on at the Cooper Associates County Ground, the umpires took the players off at 6.35pm.
Warwickshire centurion Alex Davies said: “It’s in my character to always want more and I could have stayed out there and got a bigger hundred. But I’m very happy. It’s a long winter and I put a lot of hard work in, so it’s nice to see it pay off.
“Last season wasn’t horrendous for me, but it was nowhere near the standards I set for myself. It’s good to have repaid some of the faith that’s been placed in me and help put us into a decent position in the game.
“We’ll have a chat in the morning, but I don’t see why we can’t build on our total quickly and then put them under some pressure in the second innings.”
Skipper Lewis Gregory led an enterprising Somerset fightback on the second day of the rain-affected LV= Insurance County Championship match with Warwickshire at Taunton.
The visitors’ new-look seam attack looked to have taken control when reducing their hosts to 136 for seven shortly after tea, Ed Barnard (three for 54), Hassan Ali (two for 62) and Chris Rushworth (one for 51) all taking wickets on debut.
But Gregory and Josh Davey had other ideas. Somerset’s eighth-wicket pair added 105 in 25.1 overs with some attractive counter-attacking cricket to help their side to 269 for eight at the close.
Gregory contributed an unbeaten 65, off 105 balls, with 9 fours, while Davey lost nothing by comparison, hitting seven boundaries in his 42 before falling lbw to Olly Hannon-Dalby (two for 65) with the second new ball.
After no play on the first day due to a saturated outfield, umpires Alex Wharf and Rob Bailey made a 10.30am inspection and ruled that the game could start at noon, with lunch at 1.30pm and 88 overs to be bowled in the three sessions.
Gregory, acting Somerset captain while Tom Abell completes recovery from a rib injury, won the toss and backed his side’s new top order, including debutants Sean Dickson, Cameron Bancroft and Tom Kohler-Cadmore, by electing to bat first under clear blue skies.
Rushworth impressed during an initial five-over spell from the River End and was unlucky not to claim a wicket when former Durham team-mate Dickson, on five, was dropped by wicketkeeper Michael Burgess, diving in front of first slip.
The error did not prove expensive as, without addition to his score, Dickson connected sweetly with a drive off Hannon-Dalby, but directed the ball straight to Barnard, who pouched a sharp chance at point.
Bancroft walked out at 13 for one in the fifth over. The Australian was soon making good use of the quick single, but both he and Tom Lammonby survived several close shaves as Warwickshire’s seamers went past the bat and had some confident lbw shouts rejected.
The pair took the score past 50 before Lammonby, who had shown commendable patience, was caught behind for 22, victim of Barnard’s first ball having switched to around the wicket, a perfectly-pitched delivery that moved away off the seam.
The umpires immediately signalled lunch with Somerset 52 for two in the 23rd over, Bancroft unbeaten on 24.
Kohler-Cadmore was beaten by Barnard in the first over after the interval, but quickly responded with three boundaries through the off-side off the same bowler.
Bancroft looked to have plenty of time to play his shots and appeared well set on 44 when chasing a short, wide ball from Rushworth and edging to Rob Yates at first slip. He had faced 104 deliveries and hit 5 fours.
From 98 for three, George Bartlett helped add 22 for the fourth wicket before departing on 13 to a similarly poor shot, edging Barnard to Yates, who took another routine catch.
Three balls later Kohler-Cadmore, who had just struck his seventh boundary to move to 34, became the third Somerset player to be pouched at first slip, Yates this time taking an excellent low catch to give Hassan Ali his first Warwickshire wicket.
By tea, the hosts were reeling at 128 for five and would have been in worse trouble had Burgess not spilled a regulation catch behind offered by James Rew on two.
Again the wicketkeeper’s mistake was not costly. Rew had moved onto six when bowled by Hasan Ali between bat and pad in the fourth over of the final session to make the score 135 for six.
With only a single added, Barnard bowled Craig Overton with an in-ducker. It was an all too familiar tale for Somerset supporters, whose team struggled to post meaningful first innings totals last season.
But their spirits were lifted by Gregory and Davey, who capitalised on a tiring attack with a flurry of positive shots all around the wicket to give Somerset serious momentum going into day three.
Gregory moved to an entertaining half-century off 85 balls before Davey departed and Jack Leach came in to help Somerset to a first batting point with successive fours off Hassan Ali.
Alex Davies, Vice Captain, said: “From our perspective, if you’d offered us around 270 for eight having lost the toss and they’d chosen to bat, we would have definitely taken it. It’s a little bittersweet that we had them 130-odd for seven and then they had a nice partnership which just held us at bay
“I see it as the first two sessions were ours and Somerset edged the third one. We had them on the rack, but the ball got softer and they developed a partnership. Credit to them, they batted well. We will come back tomorrow and try and get the final two wickets as cheaply as we can.
“The pitch has stayed about the same throughout, but as the ball gets older it becomes harder to shut the batters down. We did really well and then as the ball got older into the 60th and 70th overs it got difficult.”
No play was possible on the opening day of the season at Taunton where Somerset are taking on Warwickshire in the LV= Insurance County Championship Division One.
Despite bright sunshine over the Cooper Associates County Ground, heavy overnight rain on an already wet outfield led to play being called off an hour and a half before the scheduled start.
Umpires Alex Wharf and Rob Bailey took the decision on viewing the outfield. There was casual water lying on a large black covering in front of the Colin Atkinson Pavilion.
Of greater concern was a large heavily sanded area in front of the Marcus Trescothick Pavilion where heat lamps are being employed to encourage the growth of grass.
Mark Robinson, First Team Coach, said: “We knew there was a chance, but the rain yesterday affected, not only the problem areas but other parts as well.It’s frustrating as the sun’s out and it’s a beautiful wicket. We’re going to stay here with one or two having a hit before some downtime this afternoon.”
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